How To Test Your Websites Speed

Testing your website performance is key when launching a site. It should also be part of your regular site maintenance tasks. Slow page loading will deter visitors from even the most beautiful website.
So how can you test your website load time? There are many sites that will test your load time. Here are four free websites to help you with your website performance.

Pingdom Tools

Pingdom Tools
 
Pingdom is a website that has a suite of website monitoring tools. Part of this is their free Pingdom Tools. This page lets you enter a URL and it will do a page load test. You can also choose from 6 different locations around the world.
Results Pingdom Tools
One of the things I like about Pingdom is that it gives you a comparison to other sites tested. On the test result above you see this site has a load time of 1.12 Seconds. The site is faster that 88% of all the sites they have tested.
Pingdom Performance Report
Pingdom will also give performance grade, page analysis to assist you in fixing problems.

GTMetrix

GTMetrix Homepage
GTMetrix is another website monitoring company. The home page of their site allows testing of URLs. The test runs from Vancouver Canada and gives load time and performance scores.
GTMetrix Report
The result above load time of 1.1 seconds and a PageSpeed score of A (97%). Analysing the PageSpeed and YSlow scores can help you find bottlenecks. Removing these bottlenecks will help speed up your site.

WebPageTest

WebPageTest Homepage
 
Webpagetest is a free site that allow you to test your website speed. What makes this page extremely useful is that you can choose from servers all around the world. This means you can test how your page performs in Europe or Australia. You can also choose what browser you would like to test with.
WebPageTest Report
When you enter your URL the service loads your page twice. This is useful as you can see how Browser Caching is affecting your site. There are also advanced options for you if you wish to test specific parts of your site.
The site also has a discussion forum where you can read about optimization and get help.

PageSpeed Insights

PageSpeed Insights
PageSpeed Insights is a service offered by Google to measure and improve website performance. The service is simple, you just enter a URL and you will get a score for mobile and desktop pages.
PageSpeed Insights Desktop
PageSpeed Insights Mobile
This tool is useful as it tells us how Google sees our site. As Google recently announced mobile functionality as a ranking factor the mobile test helps.

How I Use These Four Tools

Launching A New Site:

  • When I am launching a new site I use each of these tools.
  • I test my homepage and internal pages with each tool to try to identify any issues.  If any issues come up I will address them and then re-test.
  • I pay particular attention to the Pingdom test.  I like my sites to be faster than >80% of sites tested.
  • I pay attention to the mobile score in PageSpeed Insights to ensure that Google “sees” a mobile page.  If there are problems I make sure to address these.

Assessing New Hosting Partners:

  • When I am assessing new hosting partners I one of these tools.
  • I use WebPageTest to check the performance of new hosts.  I upload a test site and pay particular attention to “Time To First Byte”.  This tells me how fast the host responds to requests.

Using these four tools you can easily test your website performance. The tools will give you suggestions to improve your load time.
Spending time improving your site performance will lead to more traffic. Do not go overboard and try to get perfect scores in all the tests. This will waste a lot of time and become frustrating.

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